Resurgent Garcia soaking it all in

ROB LONGLEY

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

Canadian football fans always have had a soft spot for ex CFL stars who make it big in the four-down game.

Now those Philadelphia Eagles diehards are getting a taste of what made Jeff Garcia such an easy guy to like when he played north of the border.

"It's definitely related to the team's success and I just happen to be the guy pulling the trigger right now," Garcia said when asked about his unlikely revival of the Eagles since the mid-season injury to Donovan McNabb.

The 36-year-old former Calgary Stampeder's fame grew this week when he was pasted on the cover of Sports Illustrated. But Garcia wasn't letting that publicity go to his head, retaining the humility that served him so well in the CFL.

"Not a bad photo," Garcia said. "I guess it's never too late in your career to all of a sudden show up on Sports Illustrated."

- The bye week is nice for the Bears, Saints, Chargers and Ravens but it hardly guarantees a Super Bowl trip.

Of the 32 teams that have been No. 1 seeds under the current playoff format, only 16 have made it to the championship.

- Both the Jets and Giants are on the road today, but it's a big afternoon for New York football fans.

This is just the fifth time in league history that both clubs have made it to the playoffs in the same season.

- Yet another poster for the parity of the NFL: Four of the 12 teams to make the playoffs rebounded from finishing last in their division in 2005 -- the Ravens, Saints, Jets and Eagles.

- Tiki Barber may have ran for 234 yards against Washington last week but he'll need to be more effective against the Eagles than he has in the past.

Barber was held to just 51 and 75 yards in the two regular-season meetings against the Eagles.

- Bettors beware: The Patriots are the biggest favourites of the weekend at 91/2 points but the Jets have covered the point spread in six of their past eight games.

- Count the Eagles as the wildest of the NFL's wild-card teams. When they play host to the Giants today, it will be the eighth wild-card home game in club history, tops in the league.


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